MUNG bean COTTAGE CHEESE balls - {5 meals}

A meatless delight which will pleasantly please any meat lover among you.
The high in nutrient Mung bean comes together with the lightness from the cottage cheese.

I'm constantly heading in different directions when experimenting with several, newer ingredients.
Some are used in simpler recipes, however, once and a while a winner stands out among the rest.
I've been dabbling in making meatless menu choices and today I'm finally...
sharing what I've been making over the last few months with this star legume. 

The term "food is medicine" certainly applies to the Mung bean.
A filling legume, high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients...
has recently gained further popularity in my kitchen.

Not only do I often integrate in soups and salads...
I also have it from store bought Mung bean thread noodles.
It's more digestible than most other beans and far less gas is experienced for your comfort ;o)
This recipe has been made with both the Lentil and the Mung bean.
Although interchangeable, the latter legume has become my favourite texture overall.
Cottage cheese
Made from the curds of slightly soured milk, cottage cheese is packed with essential nutrients.
This protein rich calcium offers up a less caloric alternative to my beloved Ricotta.
In this recipe, it works wonderfully along with all the aromatics to offer up a great meatless dish. 

 Meatless balls can be eaten either alone...with pasta...or makes for a great sandwich.

MUNG bean or Lentil Cottage Cheese meatless balls
12 medium-size units
Serves between 4 - 6 persons


(American measures)

. 2 cups cooked Mung beans*, packed (or Lentils)
. 1 xLarge egg
. 1 big garlic clove
. 1/2 cup Cottage cheese, packed (or press cottage cheese, or Feta)
. 1/4 cup fresh, Italian Parsley (optional)
. 1/4 cup roasted Almonds (or raw walnuts)
. 1 tsp. Tomato paste
. 1 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
. 1 tsp. sea salt
. 1 tsp. granulated garlic powder
. 1/2 tsp. each dried herbs: Basil, Marjoram
. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and packed
. 1-1/2 cups dry Breadcrumbs (mix of bread and crackers)
 NOTE:: use about 1-1/4 cups of breadcrumbs if using pressed Cottage cheese or about 1 cup if using Feta

* Cooking Mung bean:  Rinse the beans a few times.  Pour 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan for every 1 cup of a Mung beans.  Bring water to a boil and then pour in the beans.  Lower the heat to LOW-MEDIUM with a lid ajar for about 30 minutes.  Check to test that the beans are soft before straining.  Cool the beans before using.

1. Place all the ingredients from PART-1 into a food processor.  Pulse a few times and then whirl on MEDIUM speed until a mildly smooth texture is achieved.  
2. Place the mix into a large bowl.  Then add the ingredients from PART-2 and fully combine.  The texture should be quite dense. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour up to overnight.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 375F and position rack on the 2nd level from the bottom.  Prepare a large parchment lined baking pan.
4. Afterwards, remove the mix from the refrigerator.  With the aid of an ice-cream scoop measure and densely pack 12 portions to then extract and roll to place onto the prepared pan.  
5. BAKE them for the initial 15 minutes. Then, remove the pan from the oven to gently flip them over for the rest of the 10 minutes baking.
Note: if not using them in another recipe right away, have them come to room temperature on the pan.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Keeps up to 5 days. 


Mung bean Cottage Cheese balls...in vegetable Tomato Sauce
Prepare a sautéed Vegetable (of choice) Tomato sauce either ahead of time or made the same day.
Here's the Vegetable Tomato sauce I made for these meatless balls:
Total completed sauce makes about 6-7 cups worth:

In a very large, deep skillet, pour 2 Tbsps. grapeseed oil and 1 Tbsp. of e.v.Olive Oil.   
Heat and sauté 1 diced small onion, 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp. Tomato paste, 2 diced carrots, 1 small sweet potato and finally 1-1/2 cups of frozen baby peas.  
Once cooked for about 10 minutes, generously splash some white wine or dry Sherry.  
Add a large can of San Marzano tomatoes plus a half filled can of water.  Mash down the tomatoes rustically.  
Seasoning: 2 tsps. each: sea salt and granulated garlic powder.  1 tsp. each dried herbs: Basil, Marjoram, ground Rosemary.  
Bring sauce to a boil, to then lower to lightly simmer with the lid slightly ajar for about 30 minutes.

Note:  If sauce was prepared the day ahead:  Heat the prepared tomato sauce and gently place the lentil balls into the sauce.  Let the sauce simmer for about 20 more minutes while turning over the balls.  Serve with crusty bread or a preferred pasta dish.
Variation method for the uncooked Legume balls:  They can be placed RAW and directly into a simmering tomato sauce.  Do not disturb them for at least 15 minutes.  Roll them over for another 30 minutes.


These meatless Mung balls were snuggled over a bed of mild, Italian cheese. 
Then, they were wrapped up into small Savoy cabbage leaves. 
The purses were then set over a little bit of leftover tomato sauce with a little more over tops.
Covered with foil and baked into a 350F oven for 25 minutes.   Quick and easy.

The meatless ball leftovers in sauce were halved, slightly warmed into a non-stick pan on MEDIUM heat.  Crack a few eggs and whisk until fluffy.  Pour it in between the ball portions. 
Lower the heat to LOW-MEDIUM and cover with a lid ajar until egg is slightly under cooked. 
Grate some Parmesan cheese over top for a delicious meal any time of the day.

Ultimately, I just had to make these gems again. 
This time, I bathed them in my luscious, however, light cheese sauce.  
They were served alongside some roasted sweet potato fries. 
Absolutely decadent.

A healthy intake of plant-derived foods and lightened dairy certainly could not harm the status of our health. 
Hubby didn't stop saying how he couldn't believe these delightful bites didn't contain meat. 
Now, that's convincing enough for me to consider that I've finally hit the meatless jackpot.

As far as Winter is concerned, I'm convinced that we just got hit with our last snowstorm.  
Well, at least someone else was stepping out on it all together.

Have a great week.
Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.